President Trump's immigration policies - most which have been virtually neutered by liberal activist judges - are finally starting to gain traction thanks to a Wednesday ruling by the Supreme Court, and several months of action on the part of the Mexican government, according to AFP.
As we noted on Monday, US immigration authorities have arrested 60% fewer people since May - when 130,000 were apprehended. And while hot weather contributed to the precipitous drop, the Mexican government has taken serious action to stop the northward flow of migrants seeking asylum in the United States.
"The government of Mexico has taken meaningful and unprecedented steps to help curb the flow of illegal immigration to our border," said Acting CBP Commissioner Mark Morgan in a Monday press briefing.
And as Politico notes, "The decline in border traffic — if sustained — could amount to a major victory for Trump as he heads into the 2020 election," adding "Perhaps more important, the experimental measures taken by his administration could reshape immigration enforcement for years to come."
The far-reaching policies sparked an avalanche of court challenges, complaints from human rights organizations and derision from opposition Democrats ahead of next year's elections.
Undeterred, Trump has hammered away, making construction of a US-Mexican border wall one of his presidency's centerpieces -- and a key part of his 2020 reelection platform. -AFP
And while Trump and his administration have made meaningful progress with Mexico, the latest boost came with Wednesday's ruling by the Supreme Court, which overruled a California judge - allowing US Customs and Border Protection agents to immediately begin denying migrants asylum at the southern border if they haven't first applied for safe haven in a "third country."
Dissenting from Wednesday's decision were Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor.
The ruling -- which has temporary effect while challenges play out in lower courts -- shuts out large numbers of people fleeing violence and poverty in Central America. They will now have to apply for asylum in Mexico, rather than head directly to the United States.
Trump's opponents, as well as dissenting Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, say the change upends decades of tradition in which the US, itself founded by waves of often poor immigrants, has welcomed refugees.
But Trump, who argues that economic migrants abuse the system with fraudulent asylum claims, went on Twitter to herald the "BIG United States Supreme Court WIN for the Border on Asylum!"
"The Southern Border is becoming very strong despite the obstruction by Democrats," he tweeted. -AFP
....The Southern Border is becoming very strong despite the obstruction by Democrats not agreeing to do anything on Loopholes or Asylum!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 12, 2019
Meanwhile, the Supreme Court also backed Trump's efforts to shift billions in Pentagon funds to pay for the refurbishment or new construction of southern border wall sections, allowing the president to avoid a debate amongst a divided Congress. This comes during the same week as the Pentagon announced that the 5,500 troops currently deployed to the southern border would be extended for the coming year.
AP also notes that while Trump may have exaggerated the level of wall building going on, "there's no question that momentum is gradually shifting his way."
"The Wall is going up very fast despite total Obstruction by Democrats in Congress, and elsewhere!," Trump tweeted on Wednesday.
The Wall is going up very fast despite total Obstruction by Democrats in Congress, and elsewhere! pic.twitter.com/2nFIEFppho— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 12, 2019
That said, while Mexico has cooperated with the Trump administration, Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard slammed the Supreme Court's Wednesday decision, saying that the flood of new asylum cases which will hit Mexico are going to be "unprecedented," adding "Of course we disagree."
Then again, Mexico is still playing ball.
On Monday, Mark Morgan, head of the US border patrol service, welcomed "unprecedented support" from Mexico, which he said has deployed 10,000 troops on its own southern border with Central America and 15,000 on the US border. -AFP
And that, folks, is how an amateur billionaire politician conducts the Art of the Deal (going right into the 2020 election, we might add).